Bangladesh to remain venue of Asia Cup

Bangladesh to remain venue of Asia Cup

 The security concerns triggered by political unrest in Bangladesh notwithstanding, the country will remain the host of the Asia Cup next month, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced today.

"There is no change to the venue, it will go ahead as planned in Bangladesh," Ashraful Haque, the ACC chief executive officer said here today.

The ACC executive committee met here to discuss a possible alternative venue in view of the ongoing political unrest in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka. The Asia Cup is scheduled between February 24 and March 7.

Dhaka, during the recent weeks, has been gripped by political unrest ahead of the January 5 general elections. In December the West Indies under-19 team withdrew from the tour after a bomb explosion in Dhaka.

Haque said ACC has also decided to invite Afghanistan to take part in the Asia cup -- their first attempt at a major international competition. They will join India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The tournament will now feature a total of 11 games with Afghanistan's entry.
Haque said the ACC had also accepted a bid from STAR India Pvt Ltd for broadcast and ground rights for the Asia Cup.

Commenting on the forthcoming Sri Lanka tour to Bangladesh, Nishantha Ranatunga, the SLC secretary said the tour will go ahead despite security concerns.

"We will ask for security guarantees and will go on the tour. We have to show solidarity with Bangladesh as a country which has experienced similar situations," Ranatunga said.

"We have to take part in regional tournaments if we are to promote cricket in the region," he added.

Sri Lanka are to play two Tests and an equal number of Twenty20 internationals in Bangladesh between January 27 and February 14.

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